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Telegraph / Tech - Game

Is this the best car for dogs? Nissan's X-Trail '4Dogs' is a concept car built for canines – but it's not for sale (yet)

Thousands of dogs are currently en route to the NEC in Birmingham for Crufts 2018, and nearly all of them will be travelling in cars. 

In fact, dogs spend a huge amount of time in cars and vans. Many will take several car trips a week. But unlike their human family members, dogs are usually subjected to the indignity of the boot.

Some dogs are understandably miffed about being treated as cargo. So Japanese car maker Nissan has developed this, the X-trail '4Dogs', a concept car described as "pawfect" for taking the whole family on adventures.

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This new concept car was developed in response to a Kennel Club survey, which showed that 99.9 per cent of dogs were considered 'part of the family'. Of those, nearly all were transported in cars. It's worth noting that only humans took part in the survey – it's possible that if dogs were able to return the questionnaire that the figures would be even higher.

Nissan has renovated the boot of its crossover in order to make it more dog-friendly. The 440-litre space has plush upholstery, a two-way 'dog-cam' that allows both owner and pet to see each other on screens. Seen here are some special no-spill food and water dispensers, which we expect to be no match for a dog committed to making a mess but which are nevertheless welcome.

Tucked beneath the boot floor is space for dog-related stowage, including this ingenious dog washer. See it in action in the next slide.

By containing the dogs and their accoutrements within an optimised rear compartment, owners are able to keep the rest of their car in slightly less chaotic condition.

Despite what the pug might be thinking, this 360-degree dog shower is an efficient way of washing your four-legged friend. Thankfully for the spaniel, the boot is also equipped with a warm air heater – this should prevent damper dogs from getting too chilly after their rather undignified wash.

There's no need to get damp or muddy by lifting your dog into the boot, either. Assuming he or she is too lazy to jump in, there's a retractable ramp. We imagine that it will take a few weeks of training in order to convince a dog to use it, but Nissan has clearly had some success in its video – available on YouTube here.

Demonstrated here by a pre-mud springer, the ramp enables dog owners to retain a modicum of cleanliness even during the 11 wettest months of the year. It also overcomes many dogs' aversion to clambering in themselves. This short gangway is easy to stow in the cavity beneath the boot floor, too.

While the X-Train 4Dogs is a concept car at the moment, the dog guard seen in this photo is a real product available to purchase. While the pug is apparently in a state of permanent confusion and the spaniel visibly overexcited, Nissan's new concept car does seem to represent the future of canine transport.

Ryan Gains, Chief Marketing Manager for the X-Trail, said: “It’s clear from the research that for dog owners, dogs are a key part of the family. Ensuring their pet’s needs are catered for is often just as important as making sure the children are comfortable and happy. The Nissan X-Trail is a car that’s built for family adventures, and the X-Trail 4Dogs concept takes that to the next level.”

For our full review of the X-Trail, please click here.